Calling Time

After 14 years at the top, Armagh stalwart Vernon retires from inter-county football

‘I end my career in the knowledge that I have given it my all to drive Armagh football forward,’ the two-time Ulster champion signed off.

AFTER 14 SEASONS of senior service to Armagh, two-time Ulster champion Charlie Vernon has announced his inter-county retirement. 

charlie-vernon Bowing out: Charlie Vernon. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

The 32-year-old first linked up with the Orchard senior team under Joe Kernan in 2005, and went on to represent his county with distinction through the years.

Over the past few seasons, Amragh Harps clubman Vernon has been one of the veterans of Kieran McGeeney’s squad, but his versatility has always been instrumental.

Vernon, who also won three league titles in his senior inter-county career, announced his exit today in a lengthy statement. In full, it reads:

“Today I announce my retirement from inter-county football. From underage to minor and then my transition into the senior team in 2005, it has been a great honour and privilege to play for Armagh over the past 14 years. I have been fortunate to have played with and against, some of the greatest players to have played our game and have met some extraordinary people along the way.

“My involvement with Armagh has allowed me to enjoy many successes both on and off the field. The 2 Ulster Senior Championship victories in ‘06 and ‘08, 3 National League titles, Ulster U21 Championship in ‘07 and the Interprovincial Railway Cup victory with Ulster in 2016 are memories that I will always cherish.

charlie-vernon Vernon on the ball in 2008. Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

“I would also like to sincerely thank my club Armagh Harps for all their loyalty and support throughout my time with Armagh. It has been a great privilege to represent the club at county level for so many years. I look forward to continue playing with them in the coming years and hope we can emulate our success of 2017.

“To the Armagh supporters, a massive thank you for all the support over the years through all the highs and lows. The passion and dedication of the Armagh support has always been an inspiration to every squad I have been involved with. I have memories that I will always treasure and I look forward to joining you in the stands and terraces to support the Armagh team.”

To my family,” he continued, “in particular to my wife Joanne, my mother Catherine and my late father Charlie. I will be forever grateful for everything you have done for me. I will always appreciate your love and support and the sacrifices you made to allow me to play for Armagh at the highest level.

“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all players, medical staff and management teams, past and present, who I was involved with in my time with Armagh. Your continuous efforts to improve me as a player were always appreciated.

“I end my career in the knowledge that I have given it my all to drive Armagh football forward and I hope that the team continues to make strides towards success at the provincial and national stage once more.

charlie-vernon-with-his-son-charlie-after-the-game Vernon with his son Charlie after Armagh's Division 3 league final win in 2018. Oisin Keniry / INPHO Oisin Keniry / INPHO / INPHO

“Go raibh maith agaibh uilig agus adh mór. Charlie Vernon.”

Coiste Ard Mhacha added their well wishes for the departing player:

“Coiste Ard Mhacha extend our thanks to Charlie for his 14 years of outstanding service. Charlie led by example on and off the pitch and was hugely respected and regarded by his fellow players and management teams.

We thank him for his loyalty, commitment and dedication he has given to Armagh football and beyond, and we wish Charlie and his family all the very best in the coming years.

Ryan Bailey steps into the presenter’s chair where he’s joined by Murray Kinsella and Eoin Toolan on the line for Japan to tee up one of the biggest, if not the biggest week in Irish rugby: a World Cup quarter-final against back-to-back champions New Zealand.

The42 Rugby Weekly / SoundCloud

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